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  • Writer's picturePool Protection Technologies

Why is Sand in Your Pool and How to Deal With It!

Picture this: you're strolling along a stunning beach, the cool water gently splashing your legs, and the soft, warm sand providing a luxurious and relaxing experience under your feet. But imagine the opposite scenario: finding sand in your swimming pool. It's anything but luxurious and relaxing! So how does sand end up in your pool, and more importantly, how can you get rid of it? Let's dive into the reasons behind sand in your pool and the solutions to tackle this unwelcome situation.

The Culprit: Sand Filters

The presence of sand in your pool is closely linked to the type of pool filter you have. If you own a sand filter, you've discovered the source of the issue. Normally, filter sand should always remain inside the filter, unless you're changing the sand or backwashing the pool. If you've recently changed the sand or performed a backwash, a small amount of sand in the pool is not a cause for concern. However, if you notice large clumps of sand, it's a clear sign that your sand filter requires immediate attention.

Thankfully, two common reasons for a leaky sand filter – a broken standpipe or laterals – are relatively easy and inexpensive to fix. The standpipe is a long pipe that runs internally from the top of your filter to the bottom, connecting to the laterals, which are responsible for preventing sand from flowing out of the filter with the clean pool water. If either the standpipe or the laterals are damaged, sand can escape into your pool.

Addressing the Issue:

Replacing Internal Filter Parts To resolve the sand issue caused by a damaged sand filter, follow these steps to fix the problem:

  1. Turn off the pump, open the air relief valve, and remove the drain plug to drain the filter.

  2. Slowly remove the filter lid or top-mount multiport valve and set it aside.

  3. For top-mount filters with a standpipe, cover the standpipe opening with tape to prevent sand from getting in. For side-mount filters with an elbow assembly, move the diffuser gently to the side to clear the tank opening.

  4. Manually scoop out the old filter sand or use a shop vac to remove it from the tank, placing the sand in large buckets or on a plastic sheet to contain it.

  5. Flush any remaining sand out of the filter tank using a garden hose and rinse off the internal components.

  6. Remove and replace the damaged parts, carefully inspecting all laterals and the standpipe or elbows to ensure all pieces are in good working order.

  7. Fill the tank halfway with water, add the required amount of new filter sand or alternative filter media, and avoid moving the internal structures to prevent damage.

  8. Reinstall the multiport valve (if applicable), pipes, hoses, lid, drain plug, or any other parts you previously removed.

  9. Prime the pool pump, backwash the filter, and turn the pump off, setting the valve back to filter. Refill the pool with a hose if the water level dropped after backwashing.

Eliminating Sand From Your Pool:

Once you've fixed the filter, it's time to address the sand in your pool:

  1. Use a pool brush and pole to gather the sand at the bottom of your pool into one area if possible.

  2. Attach the vacuum head to the hose, and the hose to your filter, vacuuming to waste to prevent the old sand from returning to the filter.

  3. Slowly and carefully vacuum the pool, making sure not to disperse the sand throughout the pool again.

  4. Test and balance your pool water to complete the process.

Not a Sand Filter Owner?

If you don't have a sand filter or a large sand dune in your backyard, what appears to be "sand" in your pool may not actually be sand at all. It could be mustard algae, which closely resembles sand when it takes residence in your pool. To determine if you have mustard algae, gently brush the yellow clumps with your pool brush. If they disperse into a cloudy mess and don't settle quickly, you're dealing with mustard algae.

Fortunately, mustard algae isn't as resilient as black algae and can be effectively removed with the right approach. To tackle the issue confidently, check out a comprehensive article on removing and preventing mustard algae.

In Conclusion, sand belongs on the beach, not in your swimming pool! If you find yourself facing a sandy situation, follow the steps outlined in this article to quickly resolve the issue and get your pool back to its beautiful, clean self. Whether it's fixing your sand filter or dealing with algae, a little proactive care will ensure your pool remains a relaxing oasis for you and your loved ones to enjoy. Happy swimming!

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